Barb Harris, CSEP, DMCP, 34, works in Chicago as vice president of event services at CTC Destination Management. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Harris discusses her passion for the events industry.
What I do: I oversee the day-to-day sales and operations of a leading destination management company in Chicago. I have a strong focus on strategic planning and directing the overall operations of the company, and I also work on developing, designing and producing client programs for corporate and association groups visiting Chicago.
How I got here: After my childhood babysitter got me my first planning job at an agency (now George P. Johnson) in my native Detroit, I moved to Chicago in my early 20s and joined the CTC Destination Management team. I spent nearly five years as an event manager here before leaving to explore the world of design and sales, then later national event production. Through my involvement with the International Live Events Association, I kept in touch with the CTC management team, who would eventually lure me back.
My greatest career accomplishments: Returning to CTC Destination Management as vice president to lead the team has been a dream come true. Receiving my CSEP and DMCP certifications were massively rewarding.
Impressive stats: I worked with a pharmaceutical client during a citywide convention. With less than a month to plan, we pulled off individual transfers for more than 700 attendees at 18 hotels, and nightly dine-arounds for anywhere from six to 15 groups. After accomplishing that without any significant hiccups, I crowned myself a logistics ninja.
What I’m working on: Finding ways to get guests to say, “They thought of everything!” is what we strive for. I loved the creativity at the 2017 Academy Awards of parachuting desserts into the crowd during the ceremony. CTC Destination Management is curating the next highly tweetable attendee event experience,
What I do outside of work: I currently serve as Midwest regional vice president for ILEA. I’m a live music junkie; I keep a spreadsheet of every concert I’ve ever been to—I’m over 400!